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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sehwag dropped from Asia Cup squad !!

After this tour Down Under, the focus is to shift to Mirpur for the Asia Cup involving India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.  There are to be a total of 7 matches – the lung opener is between Bangladesh and Pakistan on Mar 11th; India play : Sri Lanka on Mar 13;  Bangladesh on Mar 16th  and Pakistan on Mar 18th.  The top 2 teams would play out the finals on Mar 22nd at Shere Bangla National Stadium at Mirpur.

So for the tournament commencing on 11th March, why should BCCI select and announce a squad before the Australian Tri-series is over – why at a time, when Indian chances are not extinguished.  If  Australia beats Sri Lanka, in the last of the group matches, India get to play the finals – best of 3 at that and what would be mental stress of a player who already has the news of self being dropped for the oncoming tourney.  Why would the Indian Board do that time and again ?

As Team basked in glory of chasing 320 in 36.2 overs powered by that century of Virat Kohli and good knocks from all others, the buzz was all about whether Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag - the only two double centurions in ODI cricket would play together in Asia cup or at least one amongst them be in the squad.   Previously, whenever Tendulkar had decided to opt out of a series, he had notified the board in advance, the situation with the veteran batsman being what one board official described as "an uncontrollable".

The idea of Asia Cup was conceived in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was founded as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. It was originally scheduled to be held every two years. The first tournament was held in 1984 in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where the council's offices were based (until 1995).  The inaugural Asia Cup was also known as Rothmans Asia Cup and was held in Sharjah, UAE between April 6–13, 1984. Three teams took part in the tournament: India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a round robin format where each team played the other – a total of only 3 matches.  India won both its matches and won the Cup. 

In the first match – ODI 260 – Chetan Sharma and Madanlal bundled Lankans to 96 and Surinder Khanna sizzled with a 51 – he was the MoM in both the matches. 
 Surinder Khanna holding the Asia cup1984 

Now for the present version at Mirpur – the mystic Virender Sehwag has been rested  and  Virat Kohli  elevated  as vice-captain. Sachin Tendulkar has been picked for the tournament, while allrounder Yusuf Pathan and Bengal fast bowler Ashok Dinda make comebacks. Fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav have been rested.

Resting injury ridden Zaheer looks logical but why rest Umesh Yadav ? – the others Varun Aaron and Sreesanth are still recovering..  the much touted Yusuf Pathan returns back to the squad but will be preferred over the blue-eyed Ravindra Jadeja remains to be seen.  Though he scored in England and against WI at home, Jadeja has not been at ease in CB Series.  Rohit Sharma with all his failures is in and the solitary 40 helped Raina retain his place.  Manoj Tiwary remains in the squad without getting any chance after his century against WI at Chennai.   The team has no second keeper and Parthiv Patel is dropped.

India are defending champions  and the 15 member squad is : 

MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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